|First posted 12/12/2020.|
Doo-Wops & Hooligans
Released: October 4, 2010
Charted: October 23, 2010
Peak: 3 US, 11 UK, 12 CN, 2 AU
Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 1.8 UK, 15.5 world (includes US and UK)
Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Total Running Time: 35:24
3.814 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
Bruno Mars was already a star when he released Doo-Wops & Hooligans, his first album, in 2010. He’d had hits with Travie McCoy (“Billionaire,” #4) and B.o.B. (“Nothin’ on You,” #1) and was writing and producing songs (such as Cee-Lo Green’s #2 hit “Fuck You”) with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine as the Smeezingtons. As such, it wasn’t a big surprise when “the lushly romantic” AMG Just the Way You Are and Grenade, “a darker song with a masochistic message,” WK topped the Billboard Hot 100.
Mars pulled off “a record that sounds like it was written and recorded on a warm, sleepy summer Sunday afternoon.” AMG “Lyrically, the album visualizes carefree optimism along with failed relationships, pain and loneliness.” WK He plays all the instruments and “his voice is the kind of smooth instrument that slips into your ear like honey.” AMG
Most of the tracks on Doo-Wops capture this laid-back groove, especially The Lazy Song and the reggaefied midnight love jam Our First Time. Mars barely raises a sweat on these tracks, cruising in low gear but with a very likeable style. It’s not very deep and it’s not poetry, but sweetly played and sung songs like Count on Me,” AMG which has been compared to Boyz II Men, WK “or ‘Just the Way You Are’ project a cuddly image and will melt hearts from tweens to old folks.” AMG
The biggest criticism may be that “the album tried too hard to appeal to all groups” WK as it integrates pop, soul, reggae, R&B, and rock. Mars himself confirmed an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible, explaining “I have records that women are going to relate to and men are going to relate to. So doo-wops are for the girls, and hooligans are for the guys.” WK
“When he turns up the volume and boosts the tempo, however, the album suffers a little. Runaway Baby is a pretty cheesy rocker, suffering from clichéd lyrics and production. Faring better thanks to some dynamics and nuanced production is the pleasantly silly Marry You.” AMG The latter was used for a fantastic viral video proposal. In the comments section, Emily said, “Honestly a total stranger could propose to me like this and I would say yes.”
“The only glimpse of Mars as something more than an innocuous charmer is…The Other Side.” AMG The song, which features Cee-Lo Green and B.o.B., “has been called the album’s highlight, with its most experimental and complex production.” WK It “has the most complicated melody, and the best production and singing; it sounds like the only song that Mars truly invested with some soul and grit. It was also recorded way before the rest of the album, and featured on the EP that came out earlier in 2010. It points to a direction Mars could have taken with the album but didn’t. As it is, Doo-Wops & Hooligans is an uneven debut that shows why Mars is likeable and popular, but doesn’t tap into his full potential as a writer or producer.” AMG
Notes: The European version added the song “Somewhere in Brooklyn” and an acoustic piano version of “Talking to the Moon.” Both of those songs are also featured on the deluxe/tour version as well as a remix of “Just the Way You Are” featuring Lupe Fiasco, and live versions of “Just the Way You Are,” “Grenade,” and “The Other Side.” The Japanese platinum edition included those songs and three remixes of “Grenade.” The iTunes deluxe version of the album also included “Somewhere in Brooklyn” as well as music videos for “Just the Way You Are” and “The Other Side” and the remix of “Just the Way You Are.”
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